The Support for Independent Retail campaign is a year-round source of support, advice, ideas and inspiration. Its aim is to help independent retailers and those who serve consumers to get and stay open for business!
The campaign is UNFUNDED and relies solely on sponsorship and goodwill. It is mainly focused around three key events throughout the year:
Enjoy an Independent Easter
The “Enjoy an Independent Easter” event was launched in 2013 and focuses on engaging local, consumer-facing independent businesses to create ‘activation events’ suitable for all the family AND which will have a positive social and economic impact.
The campaign continues the efforts to improve footfall on our high streets, increase consumer confidence and boost retail sales.
Local activation partners help retailers and consumer-facing businesses to deliver Easter Egg Hunts, where families visit independent retailers to collect Easter egg stickers – once they’ve collected their stickers, they get a prize…including chocolate!
For more information on the event, please visit www.indieeaster.co.uk.
Independent Retailer Month
Independent Retailer Month is possibly the most well-known of our events. Every July, retailers across the UK are encouraged to hold events and activities to get consumers back on to the high streets.
The campaign highlights the important role that smaller, local independent retailers play in the communities they serve, the local economies they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole.
Instead of offering promotions and discounts, retailers are expected to welcome consumers through their doors (even if they’re only browsing!) and to remind local communities of the unique and exciting stores they have in their towns.
For more information on the event, please visit www.independentretailermonth.co.uk.
Celebrate an Independent Christmas
The “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” event has been running for several years and focuses on engaging local, consumer-facing independent businesses to create ‘activation events’ which will be fun AND which will have a positive social and economic impact in their local communities.
During the festive season, local activation partners help retailers and consumer-facing businesses to deliver ‘Christmas Shopping Challenges’. Much like the Indie Easter event, families must collect stickers from various independent retailers to be able to win a prize for participating.
For more details, please visit www.indiechristmas.co.uk.
Benefit the community
All of the Support for Independent Retail’s campaigns are designed with one objective in mind: to educate consumers on the value of independent retailers to their local communities.
Research by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that for every £1.00 spent locally, around 50p-70p of that money recirculates back into the local economy. For the same £1.00 spent out of town or online, only 5p trickles back.
Most consumers are unaware of facts like these. It’s up to independent retailers across the country to educate their customers and let them understand how important their custom is, not just to the retailers but to their local communities as a whole.
It’s about time that we showed consumers how unique, interesting and personable our independent retailers are. We need to work together to get excitement back on to the high street!
Take a look at www.independentretail.co.uk to learn more about the campaigns and see how you can get involved – it’s great fun and you won’t regret it!
Happy retailing and happy shopping!
Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion.
PS – We also run www.independentshops.co.uk – a free directory of UK independent retailers!